Involving and surprising: if I had to resume in a few words the many feelings I had reading this book, I’d surely choose these only terms.
The story of the protagonist couple seems to be one of the many relationships facing a crisis, attempting desperate saving tries which, from the beginning, appear to be hopeless.
During their journey through the gloomy Yorkshire, Ralph e Barbara are involved in a story belonging to the past, in a complicated plot rich in implications suddenly coming out from the pages of the diary of the original landlord of the house in which they’re going to spend their little appeasing holiday.
At their first arrival in the town, the two protagonists feel something mysterious floating in the city air. Then, after a big snow makes them prisoners in Westhill House without food or heating, that sense of uneasiness becomes even greater and more worrying.
The house, clearly an ancient one, was hiding them many secrets, but Barbara, having found old Frances Gray’s diary, decides to investigate them all.
An upsetting life vicissitude emerges from the pile of loosen sheets, still developing in an alive and impressive past. Barbara is the audience of the dramatic implications of Frances and her sister Victoria’s lives, thus discovering an extraordinary similarity of personalities between the elder of the two sisters and herself.
In the chilly snow-covered house, Barbara comes to participate to those very events, and she really gets involved in them after having met one of Victoria’s heirs, who managed to arrive to the house.
But the complex plot, getting more complicate and then developing again page by page appears not to reach a solution at the end of the diary: it will be Barbara and her newly conquered lover’s task to put the word THE END to the long family Gray’s saga.
Adventuring, thrilling, romantic or action: this novel could be read by using several keys, and I’m convinced that its last perception is somehow bound to the reader’s personal experience.
Is this its real peculiarity? Did the author willingly try to make the reader another end of the complex skein of stories interlacing in her novel?